Thomas J. Post, 1948-2012

MPOS president Tom Post died suddenly at his home on July 2. He had been president for 12 years and was a keen promoter of the society and an outstanding recruiter of new members.

Tom collected and exhibited railroad covers of Illinois and Luxembourg. His exhibits of the Illinois Central Railroad, New York & Chicago Railway Post Office and Railway Postmarks of Luxembourg won high awards at stamp shows, the latter two winning Charles L. Towle exhibit awards in 2004 and 2011, respectively. He also had a collection of commercial Highway Post Offices, which he never exhibited.

He was a prolific author on railway mail, writing for the Illinois Postal Historian as well as the Transit Postmark Collector. Tom was a distinguished railroad photographer. When he drove to stamp shows or other events, he always studied schedules, so that he could arrive at railroad crossings at the right times for camera work. His attractive Christmas cards always featured examples of his railroad photography.

In 1994, Tom became treasurer of MPOS, replacing retiring Warren Kimball, and in 2001, he and President Fred MacDonald traded places, MacDonald becoming treasurer and Post becoming president. Tom was an agreeable and low-pressure president. Perhaps his strongest point was manning the MPOS table at stamp shows, where he recruited new members, sold literature and maintained a stock of covers from the sales department for sale to members. He almost always came home from a stamp show with five or six new members for the society and a long list of literature sold. The Board of Directors on several occasions awarded the society's service award to Tom for his recruiting efforts. Membership in all philatelic societies is dropping and MPOS is particularly vulnerable, with our quantity of elderly members. Every society needs a Tom Post, to increase membership or at least check the exodus.

Tom was also a longtime member of the Rockford based North Western Illinois Chapter of the NRHS and the Kalamazoo Stamp Club and an annual participant in the railway mail pouch "catch" at the Illinois Railway Museum. Tom was a Sales Executive with Clausing Industrial, an industrial saw company. He leaves a brother and two neices. When the phone would ring and it would be Tom, I always knew I would be in for a long conversation. But I always looked forward to his society news, laced with humorous stories in his Midwestern drawl. About his fleet of vehicles (he still had every car he ever owned) and his house (an enormous version of "Fibber McGee's closet!"). I'll miss those calls as much as Tom's contributions to the society and to philately.

[Obituary by Douglas N. Clark]